Friday, November 19, 2010

Grown Up!

I finally feel like I have obtained adulthood and passed a milestone!

I remember when our daughter went away to college. She is my neat one. The one who loves to cook and clean and decorate. I think she must have gotten that from my sister. She seems to enjoy doing those types of things. But, anyway, back to the story. My daughter called all excited one day. She was talking so fast that I had to make her back up and slow down. She was exclaiming that she was FINALLY a real woman!!!!!

I was afraid to ask. She very quickly said that she had bought her first vacuum cleaner and was so excited! I was very excited for her then, too! ;)

Well, last night I finally felt like a real woman! (Even though I have had a vacuum cleaner for years.) We went out and bought all new appliances. Yeah... for the first time in my 61 years I had the privilege and honor and responsibility to go out and shop and choose and compare and purchase my very own appliances... all of them.... six... nice ones...

The washer and dryer were delivered Wednesday. Here is a picture of the girls enthralled by the wash cycle. Great entertainment!

I guess you are wondering WHAT is wrong with this picture. Why has this person never had appliances???? I have always had used or hand-me-down or just someone elses. Not that I have not been grateful. I have been blessed by them and very thankful. You see, living in a parsonage most of my adult life, I was at the mercy of what the churches provided. They were always already there and I never did get to be the "first one to use" any of them... or pick them out. That was done for me.

Even after we retired and bought our house, it came with appliances - "okay" ones - old ones, but I did have them and I was very thankful.

So, last night as we were driving home after signing all the papers and scheduling the delivery for Monday, I was very thankful and very emotional. I did not have to settle. I got exactly what I wanted. I was overwhelmed with gratitude.

I felt so loved and cared for and so blessed.

God is good to me. My husband is good to me. My children are good to me... but mostly and foremost - GOD IS SO GOOD TO ME!

I'll post more pictures after they are delivered and installed... I am so excited. I can hardly wait... I feel like a REAL woman!

What have you been waiting for?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I take naps.

Sometimes I actually plan a nap.

Sometimes I just realize that I've had a nice nap without planning it. Like just now. I was sitting in the chair with 2 precious little ones in my lap watching "Fox and the Hound". Another precious one was on the sofa and the other one was napping in his bed.

I woke up when the mail was delivered and one of them got excited because we had mail.

Yep... it was a good nap. Yeah, it is not wise to not know you are asleep with 4 little ones around. Thankfully, they haven't learned to be quiet and let me sleep.

Okay, now I'm energized and the mail is in and we still have one asleep in his bed.

Life is good.

Hope your surprises turn out as well!


Saturday, November 6, 2010


This morning I put on Christmas music... well, it is offered on satellite tv already. I don't know how long it has been there. I found it the other night and listened for a little while, but turned it off - it just seemed too early!

Now it is on again. But while listening, I was overwhelmed with Thankfulness....

I don't want to miss Thanksgiving. I want to focus on all the things and people and reasons I have for being Thankful. I am blessed beyond measure.

Don't get me wrong. My life is not perfect and I don't have an abundance manifesting in my life in all areas - but I know that I am blessed. My needs are met. I am content. I am thankful!

Sometimes it takes the absence of something to make you realize just how blessed you are!

I have become extremely aware of the importance of family and their impact and love and influence on my life.

To be in the middle of Thanksgiving season should mean to be in the middle of THANKS giving. As I look around me, I'm thankful. I appreciate so much in my life. The answers to prayers is manifest.

How or why I was placed in the family I have and how or why I had my family placed in my life are questions that overwhelm me with God's love and goodness.

A resounding theme in my heart is "thank You! I am blessed beyond measure!" I just don't know of another way to express what my heart is experiencing.

I pray that you, too are blessed beyond measure. If you don't "feel" that way, then look around you and begin to count your blessings and start thanking God for what good you do have.

Blessings upon BLESSINGS to you today~

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Good Grief, Charlie Brown!

My all time favorite cartoon strip is Charlie Brown. It was mama's too... and Aunt Grace's (that's a whole nother post and love!)

One of our family-isms was "good GRIEF!!! Charlie Brown!!!". You see we were not allowed to cuss or use slang. I almost got a whipping (that is Southern for spanking or disciplined) for saying "DARN!" one day when my daddy happened to be home. So we resorted to non-slang outbursts.

One of my most vivid memories is my daddy waking up to receive a call and his response after a short listen was, "MY STARS, Jack!!!". It was the most upset I'd ever seen or heard him (at that time - years later I did my share of upsetting him, but I never got that response!).

I guess I'm especially thinking about grief lately and the process. It is so unpredictable. Is it GOOD or can it be?

I think so.

Over the past 4 years, I've dealt with the loss of my mama. She has been there physically, but not mentally. So, after our visits home I would sob and grieve for the mama I used to have. That was not a good grief. It was an unfinished grief. I was still holding on to the memory of mama and hoping that she would return to that. It was like an open wound that would not heal.

Life changes. Some are good, some are bad. This may sound harsh, but now I can move on and truly grieve the loss of my mama. That is good. The process is not fun. It is not easy. It is unbearable at times. But... we do heal.

I've been thinking of the process that I so glibly shared with people - you know... Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and finally Acceptance.

Before, I could do all the steps except "Acceptance". Now, I can complete the cycle.

But, I'm also understanding more. The "Denial" is not denying that they are dead - it can be, but for me it was denying that life had changed and that it affected me. I DOES affect me in the deepest level and eternally. The good part of that is that now mama is in heaven and her prayers are still covering me - but she sees and knows more now how to pray for me and my family... the prayers will never stop.

The "Anger" is not necessarily at the person who died - it can be and often is. But, it is random, frustrated anger that just surfaces without rhyme or reason. It surfaces at odd times in odd ways. This is actually comforting to know if you are not the one grieving and someone has an unexplained outburst of anger.

I haven't experienced the "Bargaining" yet - at least I have not identified it. I don't know how it will manifest itself. I don't know if I'm going to try to bargain with God or a person or myself... or go shopping and try to get a great deal! (LOL)... I think that last would probably be considered "therapy"... as in retail therapy...

Now the depression I understand. The hopelessness and helplessness and just despair. I have been blessed in that I'm not a depressed person. I have experienced depression, but it does not hang around long. I think that now, I just experience a deep sense of loss and sadness. It is easiest to tell if someone is stuck in grief if the depression just hangs on. It is natural and normal to go through it - the key is "go through". It is not healthy or good to hang on to it.

It really is okay to be happy and joyful!

The final stage is acceptance. I expect to get there soon. It is more than accept the death. It is also accepting their life, who they were and what they meant to you. Accepting how they treated you and how they loved you and how they behaved and died.

Part of my acceptance has been to realize that long before we knew mama had alzheimers we did not understand her behavior and wondered why she was acting so strange. We simply discounted her statements and tried to talk her out of it. I wish now that I had been more sensitive and discerning. So, part of the acceptance for me is accepting MY actions and forgiving myself.

Moving on... I truly believe that it is "good grief" because I was blessed with a wonderful good mama and the going through process enables me to appreciate who she was and be thankful.

Thank you for "listening" as I process!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


My Sweet Daddy

This picture was taken just a few days after Mama died. It was the day after her funeral. We had gone to visit in his new "home" - the assisted living apartment.

The girls and their children were still in town and wanted to see it and him before they left to go back home. He put his hat on to model it for the grandchildren. How special he is!

Daddy loved mama. They dated four years and were married for 68 years. She served him all those 72 years. She took care of him. She loved him. She took a back seat to him. He had the very public ministry and mission. She never wanted to overshadow or outshine him.

He traveled all over the world in ministry. He worked long hours when he was home. She never complained. He would call from the office and say he was ready to be picked up. (We only had one car.) She would go and sit outside his office in the car while he "finished up" - which could be hours because he might get started on another project or stopped by someone and forget he had called her. She didn't complain. She just waited and read or sang and when he got in the car she would smile and ask how his day had been.

He had a stroke. The only time he was ever really sick. She stayed right with him and took care of him. She nursed him back to complete health.

Years later when she began with the memory problems, he stopped his life to take care of her. He did nothing but make sure she was okay. He made sure she got to the doctor and took her medicine and ate. He worked at entertaining her and loving her. Even when she was unlovable because she didn't know who he was, he loved her.

He gave up his home and his freedom just to be with her. These last few months he just sat and watched her. She had care for bathing and dressing and changing and medicines. She mainly was in the bed, but he just sat and watched her to make sure she didn't fall out of the hospital bed.

It has been a long four years for him. He had purpose. He had a reason. He was motivated by a deep love and commitment. He would not leave her alone to even go to doctors appointments for himself. His dedication and love are something that kept her alive as long as she lived. It also kept him alive.

My prayer now is that he will find another purpose and reason and mission to keep on living. He has so much to share - so much wisdom and knowledge. He is such a special man.

I have been extremely blessed by my parents - and by the example they have set for serving God and each other. I hope you have been, too!